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February 26, 2010

Ofcom to measure next-gen broadband speeds

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by Darren Allan

Ofcom is to work with website SamKnows to measure the speed of next-gen broadband lines in the UK.

It’s a partnership which has worked in the past, with SamKnows clocking the speed of the average “this-gen” broadband technology at 4.3Mbps in 2008.

Next-gen developments, which are already happening in many parts of the country, are delivering fibre-to-the-cabinet ADSL lines, offering a theoretical maximum of 24Mbps (three times the speed of ADSL Max).

Then there’s Virgin and other companies who are starting to offer ultra-fast services of 100Mbps cable.

Ofcom wants these properly measured to see whether these advertised speeds are truly what the end user is getting, or as was the case with ADSL Max, whether the customer is only actually getting about half the headline speed on average.

Data will be taken via a box connected to the user’s router by SamKnows, which will provide a far more accurate assessment than web based speed gauges.

Cable should offer a much closer average to the headline speed, but it will be interesting to see how BT’s fibre-to-the-cabinet ADSL performs in particular.

The study will begin in April, and you can sign up to volunteer at the SamKnows site ( It’s free to take part, and you’ll be able to access the accurate speed data yourself to see how your line truly performs.

However, the downside is the box itself will apparently take up several gigabytes of your monthly data usage when it’s sending and receiving info.

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1 Comment »
  1. South Korea has 2GB broadband speeds. 100MB is like 56k dial up to the rest of the world….

    Comment by Andrew — February 26, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

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